All About Fine Chocolate by Cat Black

  • The Curlew’s Chocolate Pudding, a thrilling work in progress.

    May 21, 2013

    A first report on my collaboration with Michelin starred restaurant The Curlew in Bodiam.

    Sticky Toffee Souffle

    The wonderful thing about being a food writer is sharing secrets and discoveries. That could be a recipe, or spreading the word about the extraordinary, world-class delicacies that I come across in my travels as a chocolate expert and judge. There is finer, more diverse, more complex, more refined chocolate being made now than ever before. And it is my joy to bring other foodies to the party, show them the light. It is an even...

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  • The International Chocolate Awards 2013

    May 7, 2013

    I report back from the European semi-finals of this prestigious awards as a newly appointed member of the Grand Jury.

    Awards sign

    Springtime means awards season, and the eyes of the world look to see what is going to lead the way, what will be lauded, and what given that all important gold. I am not talking about that famous gold statuette, but the gold medals of the International Chocolate Awards. While those across the pond shook out their silks and were abstaining from anything more than a lettuce leaf in anticipation of the world’s press and...

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  • Jacques Genin – a favourite among Paris chocolate shops.

    April 23, 2013

    An obsession with freshness and ‘thinking like a chef’ have forged a stunningly good chocolatier from this self-taught workaholic.

    JG Ganaches

    The night after my rendezvous with Jacques Genin I dreamt about his chocolates. I dreamt about wandering through his calm and ordered kitchens, the cool marble tops dotted here and there with his exquisite creations. I dreamt that he was sitting opposite me, as he had been that afternoon. His insightful was gaze fixed upon me across a table in the serene elegance of his spacious café, while I tasted his chocolates. And in my...

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  • A Masterclass with Mark Tilling – UK Chocolate Master 2006-2009

    April 9, 2013

    I had a productive and enjoyable two days with the technical wizard.

    split caramel

    Mark Tilling held the title UK Chocolate Master for four years. He has twice beat off the home competition and gone on to represent the UK in the bi-annual World Masters. After two goes you are obliged to stand aside and give someone else a chance. And Mark is a generous soul so since achieving overall 7th in his second Masters, with his entremet and his showpiece marked even higher at 4th, he has devoted...

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  • Easter Chocolate Shopping, you’d better get cracking!

    March 26, 2013

    Episode two of my Easter Chocolate Shopping tips.

    Beau with Bag

    For those of you who read the last post and ordered your Easter chocolates already, well done. For those of you who made it to The Chocolate Festival, I have no doubt you had a ball, and left with all your chocolate needs met. But for all those last minute shoppers I am back with an extra post. Here are some more tips on delectable chocolate treats to ensure the Easter bunny doesn't disappoint. Easter offerings got...

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  • Easter Chocolate Shopping, a first look.

    March 19, 2013

    The first instalment of my selection of Easter chocolate delights!

    Chococo whole eggs

    Easter, in the foodie celebratory sense at least, goes together with chocolate like Laurel goes with Hardy. A good time is had by all, and one would be a little sad without the other. So, please forgive me for straying from my usual once a fortnight posting. I am splitting my Easter chocolate shopping post into two, and bringing you some of it early, to give you the best chance to get your mitts on some...

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  • Yael Rose creator of The Chocolate Festival

    March 12, 2013

    Over hot chocolate, of course, I found out how the Festivals began


    As founder and organiser of The Chocolate Festival, and its sister festivals of Cheese & Wine, Tea & Coffee, and Real Bread, Yael Rose presides over a mini empire of fabulous food. From her childhood in Israel, including stints in the army and on a kibbutz, she developed a strong work ethic, but has a fiercely non-conformist attitude. A self-starter with a talent for organising, she turned her hand to a variety of things until the...

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  • Pacari chocolate, an inspiring success story, and delicious chocolate!

    February 26, 2013

    I caught up with Santiago Peralta of Pacari to talk about Ecuador and its prize winning cacao.

    Pacari Raw

    Santiago Peralta is on a roll! Pacari, the Equadorian chocolate company that he founded ten years ago, swept the boards of The International Chocolate Awards 2012, and it would be hard to find someone more proud and passionate about the future of fine chocolate. As the International Chocolate Awards heats for 2013 begin, I wanted to bring you this profile of the exciting chocolate and maker that shone so brightly in the 2012 competition. Santiago Peralta states...

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Cat Black

Cat BlackI am a food writer, with special interest in, and huge enthusiasm for, chocolate! This blog is where I get to tell you about all the wonderful tastes, events, and people I come across in the world of chocolate.

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